Persistence of Technological Leadership: Emerging Technologies and Incremental Innovation

26 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2011

See all articles by Christopher J. Metcalf

Christopher J. Metcalf

U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Economics

Date Written: June 2011

Abstract

In a model of competitive innovation, I derive theoretical conditions for an entrant to displace the incumbent firm by innovating in an undeveloped, substitute (emerging) technology. The main result presents conditions on profitability and innovation speed that yield a Markov Perfect Equilibrium in which the entrant pursues the emerging technology, while the incumbent chooses to persist with the established technology and collect short‐run profits. Notably, this result does not require the entrant's superiority to the incumbent for innovation. Finally, when the model is calibrated to hard drive industry data, its predictions are consistent with the observed outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Metcalf, Christopher J., Persistence of Technological Leadership: Emerging Technologies and Incremental Innovation (June 2011). The Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 59, Issue 2, pp. 199-224, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1873768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6451.2011.00453.x

Christopher J. Metcalf (Contact Author)

U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Economics ( email )

601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

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